All stories by Carole Woddis on BroadwayStars

Monday, June 25, 2018

‘Beautiful, dedicated piece of craftsmanship’: THE TOWN HALL AFFAIR – Barbican Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

The Wooster Group’s Town Hall Affair is a beautiful, dedicated piece of craftsmanship, highly technically and artistically accomplished but in comparison with material in earlier years, it…

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Saturday, June 23, 2018

‘The starkest, most eloquent & humane warning to history’: NOTES FROM THE FIELD – Royal Court Theatre ★★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Notes From the Field is an even more searing, brilliant, majestic account – an examination, profound in its detail and presentation by Anna Deavere Smith of disenfranchisement and the brok…

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Monday, June 18, 2018

‘A great revival giving much food for thought’: THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE – Donmar Warehouse ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Findlay’s finely tuned production is full of nuance and provides a singular, emotive finale in which responsibility, influence, life choices, aspiration and limitation are all beautifully …

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Saturday, June 16, 2018

‘A great, absorbing revival’: MACHINAL – Almeida Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Natalie Abrahami has done Sophie Treadwell proud. A great, absorbing revival. Wouldn’t it be nice to see other Treadwell plays given a run?!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

‘An encounter with the recent past that tells us a lot about ourselves now’: SHIRLEYMANDER – Playground Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Within a stone’s throw of Grenfell Tower, Gregory Evans’ tale of greed, ambition and plain heartlessness, Shirleymander tells the darkest of stories with a very light touch.

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

‘The play has worked its magic again’: AS YOU LIKE IT – Shakespeare’s Globe ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Here, in Shakespeare’s, 400 years ago, actors ‘conjured’ and beguiled their audiences. And so here, too, in 2018, theatre and As You Like It has again worked its magic.

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Sunday, April 1, 2018

‘Instructive for a whole new generation’: THE INHERITANCE – Young Vic ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

In its incorporation of Howards End and the conversation between its fictional literary inspiration and its contemporary – Matthew Lopez – The Inheritance manages to create something who…

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Monday, February 26, 2018

‘Kelly plays a blinder’: GIRLS & BOYS – Royal Court Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

One helluva writer, that Kelly and his ‘muse’, Carey Mulligan. Will Girls & Boys transfer? It would be a sell-out, if arduous to maintain, I imagine for Mulligan. Time will tell…

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‘Curiously admirable’: PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK – Barbican Theatre ★★★ by Carole Woddis

Victoria’s Malthouse Theatre and Black Swan Theatre’s joint production of Picnic at Hanging Rock does have its moments of scariness and there are fine, spirited performances from its qui…

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Friday, February 23, 2018

‘Myriad quick-fire changes’: NAPOLEON DISROBED – Arcola Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Told by an Idiot’s stage adaptation of Simon Leys’ acclaimed counter to the-great-man-of-history novella The Death of Napoleon though asks the useful question that gels nicely with the c…

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Friday, February 16, 2018

‘Something doesn’t quite gel’: GUNDOG – Royal Court Theatre ★★★ by Carole Woddis

An interesting corrective to those soft-focus romantic images of rural equanimity, in the end, Gundog doesn’t quite come off. But, like grandad’s homily to his family, Longman too has br…

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

‘Diverting if sometimes puzzling’: THE WAR HAS NOT YET STARTED – Southwark Playhouse ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

The second of a brace of plays running in rep at the Southwark Playhouse, Russian writing star, Mikhai Durnenkov’s The War Has Not Yet Started – featuring Mark Quartley, Sarah Hadland an…

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Carole Woddis rounds up 2017 by Carole Woddis

With the demise of the repertory system, it is the fringe and alternative theatre that has stealthily and often in unrecognised ways provided the apprenticeship and forcing house in recent y…

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

HOW TO WIN AGAINST HISTORY – Young Vic Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Seiriol Davies’s How to Win Against History is not quite like anything I’ve ever seen before. But then again, it is. A pastiche, a satire, a brilliant piece of aesthetic campery on a par…

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Monday, December 4, 2017

EUGENE ONEGIN – Arcola Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Something very exciting is happening in small-scale opera. This is the third one I’ve seen in as many months, all striking in their own ways but Eugene Onegin is by far the most enjoyable.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

THE RAKE’S PROGRESS – Wilton’s Music Hall ★★★ by Carole Woddis

This was a labour of love, Selina Cadell and Eliza Thompson’s inaugural production for their newly formed OperaGlass Works for which they raised all the funds, a cool £145,000.

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Saturday, November 25, 2017

THE SECRET THEATRE – Sam Wanamaker Playhouse ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

What with the BBC’s Gunpowder Plot and now Anders Lustgarten’s spymaster drama, we really seem unable to quite slough off our fascination with those grisly times when terrorism came in C…

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

TRESTLE – Southwark Playhouse ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Stewart Pringle’s Harry and Denise fortuitously keep meeting over the trestle table in the local village hall rented out for evening classes and meetings. Harry is one of the backbone-of-t…

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

#ntNetwork – National Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Whoever decided to revive Chayefsky’s film via a stage production made an astute choice. Network could hardly be more topical or timely in an era that has become infamous for false truths,…

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

THE RETREAT – Park Theatre ★★★ by Carole Woddis

With Kathy Burke’s imprimatur attached as director, my expectations were high for Sam Bain’s The Retreat although everything else about the writer was unknown to me.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

CORIOLANUS – Barbican Centre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Coriolanus may not be the most frequently staged of Shakespeare’s political Roman dramas although it nearly always gets included when a series of them are run together as here with the lat…

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

POISON – Orange Tree Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

There is something exquisitely philosophical and European about Lot Vekemans’ approach, at once logical and precise as she moves her two-hander from a point of unresolved conflict and outr…

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Sunday, November 5, 2017

MACBETH – Bussey Building ★★★ by Carole Woddis

Devil You Know theatre company director Paul Tomlinson describes his setting as 'post apocalyptic’ and certainly Peckham’s Bussey building lends itself to such a concept.

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

SUZY STORCK – Gate Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Some of the most viscerally shattering productions I’ve seen in recent years have turned up at the tiny Gate Theatre, Notting Hill. Magali Mougel’s Suzy Storck is no exception.

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Friday, November 3, 2017

THE SEAGULL – Pushkin House ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

What extraordinary actors the Russians produce and what a revelation is this newly filmed version by Moscow’s Satirikon Theatre uncomfortable, disturbing, unsettling though it also is.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

ANYTHING THAT FLIES – Jermyn Street Theatre ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

When I read that Anything that Flies was her debut play by writer, Judith Burnley, I naturally assumed it was a young playwright being given a big chance by Jermyn Street’s new artistic di…

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Monday, October 30, 2017

BITCHED – Tristan Bates Theatre ★★★ by Carole Woddis

Raizada’s dialogue is unflinching in the way she captures speech that symbiotically interweaves between everyday conversations and those portrayed on TV as if both were entwined and feedin…

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A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE – West End ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

It’s all elegantly if slightly laboriously done in studied anachronistic style, delivered facing out to the audience as if emphasising precisely its decorative home.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

ALBION – Almeida Theatre ★★★★★ by Carole Woddis

Rupert Goold’s previous, James Graham’s Ink, went on to enjoy its present run in the West End. For sheer entertainment value, I’ll be amazed if Mike Bartlett’s stirring eulogy for a …

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Monday, October 23, 2017

THE LADY FROM THE SEA – Donmar Warehouse ★★★★ by Carole Woddis

The grounding comes in Kwame Kwei-Armah’s decision to transplant the play to 1950s Caribbean and in the casting of Nikki Amuka-Bird as Doctor Wangel’s second wife, Ellida giving her raci…

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

THE SEAGULL – Lyric Hammersmith ★★★ by Carole Woddis

Simon Stephens’ version makes no bones about how an obsession for fame can lead to ruin, hell and damnation or all three. Adelayo Adedayo’s Nina is burning to be a 'celebrity’, idolisi…

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